3 Versions of Reality: How We Perceive Ourselves, How We Think Others Perceive Us, and How Others Actually Perceive Us

After a year of careful consideration and research, I finally purchased a Funko Pop vinyl figure for my cubicle in the office.

But before I made my official decision, I sought my 3 year-old daughter’s confirmation. I presented her with the character figure of J.J. Abrams; the producer of Lost and the new Star Wars movies.

I asked her, “Holly, who is this?”

She immediately smiled and responded: “It’s Daddy!”

In that moment, I received confirmation that my own perception of myself truly matched not only how I perceived how others perceive me, but also, how others actually perceive me.  And sure enough, once I debuted my avatar at work this week, all of my co-workers agreed that the Funko Pop vinyl figure of J.J. Abrams does indeed look like me.

A few of my co-workers actually assumed had the figure custom-made!

However, this is somewhat of a rare occurrence:

That my perception of myself matched how I perceive how others perceive me, as well as how others actually perceive me.

One of my life’s revelations this year, after turning 38, is this:

By default, we spend a lot of our time hoping to change things about ourselves that wouldn’t actually make others like us or respect us anymore than they already do. Instead, we remain unaware of the things we could change about ourselves that would actually make us more likable.

We tend to incorrectly assume that others give as high of a value (if any!) to the same traits we place in the category of “If I Only I Was More…”

The irony is that perhaps if we actually obtained the self-assigned “improvements” we wished upon ourselves, others may not even notice at all!

Therefore, we spend much of our time hoping, wishing, and trying to make changes about ourselves that wouldn’t actually improve other people’s perceptions of ourselves; most ideally, improving our relationships with those people.

I’ll be a bit vulnerable here and give you a personal example.

All summer, I have been receiving “What You Were Doing 5 Years Ago” notifications and photos through Facebook.

That was the summer I had recently become a vegan. I was never in my life more perfectly thin and fit. I had finally reached my ideal body weight and clothing size.

I enjoyed that for about a year, before my body found a way to overwrite the shock of no longer consuming cholesterol through my diet. Within a couple of years, I was back to my original weight; despite still being vegan.

I have consistently ran, worked out, and altered my diet to include some animal protein again, but I’m still nowhere near that initial weight from 5 years ago.

But now, I have come to the realization that even if I was able to get back down to my perceived ideal weight of less than 160 pounds, it wouldn’t make anything better in my life… beyond the thoughts in my head.

And actually, back when I was my perceived ideal level of physical fitness 5 years ago, I believe I was less likable of a person back then anyway!

Before the age of 35, I was still giving power over my emotions to other people; still giving the free world free reign regarding the ability to offend me, hurt my feelings, and disrespect me.

I also was still to some degree attempting to prove my views and opinions were superior. I made a fool of myself on Facebook, mocking the concept of human beings consuming eggs and dairy from other species.

Because at that point, I had not reached the level of emotional intelligence I now live in.

It took that experience to help get me where I am today.

The closer I get to age 40 (I’m now just a year and a half way), the clearer my perspective becomes about how the world actually works… especially when it comes to human interaction.

The reality is that most of the time, the things we think will make us be better perceived by others actually have zero value to others.

Instead, most people notice and appreciate a person who is confident yet humble, who knows how to make others feel better about themselves, and invests their time, energy, skills, talents, and/or to help others.

That is what actually makes us liked and respected by people.

So yes, there are 3 different version of reality:

How we perceive ourselves, how we think others perceive us, and how others actually perceive us.

We get to decide for ourselves which version to accept.

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Benefits of Juicing Fresh Fruit For Your Family

It’s a good idea to try a new smoothie and juice recipes involving your whole family while enjoying tons of health benefits. While there are commercially available fresh juices, you can save more by making homemade juices, plus having the assurance of a freshly prepared and chemically-free fruit juices for you and your family.

Check out the benefits of juicing fresh fruits by reading below:

Save Money While Drinking Healthy

You can make 1.5 liters of healthy orange-carrot-apple juice for less than $10, which is good for the whole family. The average price of a single juice bottle available for sale by local vendors is around $7.99, so making your healthy juice will considerably save you much money and still have something left for the next serving.

Here’s how to make a healthy orange-carrot-apple juice:

  • Prepare the following ingredients: 5 pounds bag of apples, 3 pounds bag of oranges, and 10 pounds bag or carrots.
  • Use a high-quality juicer, like one from https://www.goodnature.com/, to help you make a fresh orange-carrot-apple juice.
  • You can add about a cup of water to the orange-carrot-apple juice to make the consistency a little bit thinner.
  • Serve the healthy orange-carrot-apple juice chilled or by adding ice. 

Easy Way to Let Your Child Consume Fruits and Veggies

Are your children selective when eating fruits and vegetables? Well, with juicing and a little creativity in preparation, you’ll be surprised how kids love drinking juice made from fresh fruits, vegetables, and even spices, including tomatoes, beets, ginger, celery, cucumber, kale, and spinach. Indeed, fresh juices are perfect, most especially during summer.

Because it’s a difficult task for parents to feed children with cuts of fruits and veggies, nutritionists advise parents to be creative. One way is to introduce juicing, which is an excellent alternative to serving whole fruits and vegetables.

Here are some tips when preparing fresh juices to kids:

  • Give toddlers apple or orange juice and meet their daily requirements of vitamin C. Children who drink healthy fresh juice can get more potassium, magnesium, iron, folate, vitamin C, and vitamin B6 than those who don’t.
  • Serve juices with their favorite snacks, like baked potatoes or sandwiches.
  • Always follow up with water after drinking juices to clear the throat from fruit fibers and satisfy thirst and satiety.

Easy Way to Prepare Nutritious Drink for the Family

You’ll be happy to see your little ones guzzle apple, blackberry, beet, and carrot juice. Just make sure that you choose the right juice extractor.

Here are the following best features and benefits of a juice extractor or juicer:

  • Enough power to easily juice carrots, cucumbers, beets, and bulky vegetables by choosing a juicer with a powerful motor.
  • Simple to use and clean up juicer with a cleaning tool, sweeping the strainer in a single easy motion.
  • Eliminate pre-cutting by buying one with a large chute.
  • Create foam-free juice by shopping a juice extractor with a froth separator.
  • One great feature is a speed toggle switch for maximum juice yield.
  • It’s a good idea to choose one with a large pulp bin, which is perfect for continuous juicing.
  • A good juicer produces a large number of fresh juices in a short time, with a chute and motor that could manage loads of fruits and veggies. 

Provide and Meet Your Daily Nutrient Needs

Parents should take the utmost care when feeding children, providing all the necessary nutrients for a healthy body and mind. However, kids are fussy eaters and don’t like to eat fruits and vegetables, which are a rich source of vitamins and minerals.

Here are the health benefits of juicing to the family:

  • Juices are an excellent source of energy required for the proper development of the body.
  • Carrot juice provides vitamin A, orange juice contains vitamin c, and the juice of leafy vegetables provides B-vitamins and roughage, making a perfect drink for growing children.
  • Juicing helps hydrate the body while providing essential nutrients.
  • Help your family develop healthy eating habits with juicing instead of consuming soda or soft drinks, which are very high in sugar and may lead to diabetes.
  • Provide expecting mothers or pregnant women the needed amount of folate, iron, and vitamins obtained from fruits and vegetables for a healthy pregnancy. 

Conclusion

Juicing is delicious, healthy, and fun. Also, it’s a cost-effective way to let your children consume fresh fruits and veggies without forcing them to do so. You can experiment with different fruits and vegetables or check online tutorials from the best chefs or seasoned juicers out there.

More Than 1 in 4 Americans Don’t Know How to Cook: Americans Spend More on Eating Out Than Buying Groceries

The art of cooking has fallen by the wayside in the age of convenience. As parents, we’re supposed to be teaching our kids how to take care of themselves once they fly the nest. Unfortunately many of us have lifestyles that are too busy for cooking on a daily basis; so we hit the drive thru on the way home or we order takeout or we go sit in a restaurant- because who wants to do all those dishes anyway?

On the surface this isn’t a completely terrible thing – our kids still have food to eat, and it is totally possible to make healthy choices at a restaurant. It’s a budget-buster – go ahead and tally up how much money you spend on restaurants each month. You’ll be shocked.

The biggest problem here is that we aren’t always taking the time to teach our kids how to cook, and as a result, more than a quarter of American adults don’t know how to cook at all. Everyone needs to know the basics of cooking, even if you aren’t planning to become a television chef – it’s a matter of survival.

Learn more about the apps and tech out there to help you learn to cook – and cook safely – from the infographic below.

This infographic brought to you by KitchenByte

What is the Secret to Living to 100+? The Blue Zone

What if you could live to 100 and beyond? It’s not as far-fetched as it may seem. The number of supercentenarians is growing worldwide — in 2015 there were 451,000 worldwide, and by 2050 it is estimated there will be more than 3.7 million. Healthcare is getting better worldwide as is access to clean water and food. We also know more about how to treat our bodies well, with ample rest and exercise. But clearly this isn’t enough. How can we live to 100 and beyond?

Genetics plays an important role in how long you live, but it’s not the deciding factor. Some scientists estimate your genetics only accounts for about 15% of your chances of living to 100 and beyond. Other factors include things like your diet, getting regular exercise, and cultivating a sense of purpose and community.

There are some places around the world known as ‘Blue Zones’ where people routinely live longer and healthier lives. In places like Loma Linda, California, where the average inhabitant lives 10 years longer than the national average, it is thought the diet and emphasis on religion and community play a major role.

Learn more about Blue Zones from the infographic below. Maybe you will live a lot longer than you think!

Secrets to Living Longer
Source: Best Health Care Degrees

6 Months After Quitting My 7 Years as a Vegetarian and 5.5 Years as a Vegan: How Do I Eat Now? High Protein Kosher, Similar to Paleo

Even though I only publicly admitted it recently, it was actually 6 months ago that I decided to retire from my dedicated plant-based stage of life, which coincided with most of my 8 year-old son’s life.

After I made the announcement, one of my nieces was shocked, reaching out to me, saying, “I’m pretty sure you have been a vegan for most of the time I’ve known you, ha ha. So you eat cheese pizza now?”

My answer: Well, I could… but I don’t… not really.

(To find a funny t-shirt like this one for the lowest price on Amazon, click here.)

Here’s what I do eat now:

Certain kosher meats, but only if they are baked or broiled, never fried or processed (like in a “nugget” form).

Wild caught fish: mainly salmon, cod, mahi mahi, and even anchovies; but not tuna, which instantly causes my dyshodrotic eczema to return. And definitely never shellfish: shrimp, scallops, lobster, etc. (They are not kosher.)

Chicken, without the skin.

Turkey, but I don’t really like it.

Beef, but never with dairy, like cheese; which is part of keeping kosher.

Eggs, whey powder, and cheese, but not milk.

(To check out the whey isolate protein powder I consume on a daily basis, click here to find the best deal on Amazon.)

I see no reason to drink milk from an animal; not only because it contains more sugar than most people realize, but I attribute milk as the reason my sinuses and allergies used to be so horrible.

Vegetables, but not cooked in heavy oils.

Fruit, with no limitations.

Grains and potatoes, but only on occasion:

I am intentionally strictly avoiding flour (like wheat pasta or wheat pizza dough), hydrogenated oils, and processed sugar.

So would I eat a cheese pizza? I have; several times.

But I realized that it goes against what I am trying to accomplish; which is to have a permanent, healthy and balanced diet which will allow me to comfortably fit back into my size 32 pants again.

I have learned to appreciate grilled chicken pesto pizza on gluten-free, cauliflower crust.

Could I eat a cheeseburger? No, because it’s combining beef with dairy; which isn’t kosher.

Could I eat a hamburger? I could, but I’m not in a hurry to, since that would involve a lot of bread.

I think that ultimately, new identity as an ex-vegan consists of a dietary regiment that is still as disciplined as being a vegan, though it’s a lot less restricting.

(To check out the high protein, whey-based bars I eat on a daily basis, click here to find the best deal on Amazon.)

In the past 6 months, I have loss and kept off 5 pounds since I stopped being a vegan. And because I have been faithfully working out using Darebee.com, it is my belief that the reason I am not continuing to lose more weight right now is that the muscle I am building weights more than the fat.

I’m thinking that within another 6 months, I’ll have more confirmation and clarity for Operation: Comfortably Fit in My Size 32 Pants Again.

If not, I’ll keep being open-minded until I figure it out.

After 5 and a Half Years, I Stopped Being a Vegan in September 2018… Finally, I’m Ready to Talk about It (Ex-Vegan Back to Kosher, Still Cured of Dyshidrotic Eczema and Sinus Issues)

Don’t get your hopes up- I still wouldn’t be any fun at a BBQ or a hot dog eating contest. But it is true that back in September, I quietly retired my strict vegan lifestyle of 5 and a half years, and my vegetarian lifestyle of 7 years. But why?

Because I realized that for the last few years, I had been gaining weight as a vegan– to the point I basically weighed as much as I did before I stopped eating meat, eggs, and dairy. Here is proof of my vegan dad bod.

For the first year and a half of being a vegan, I slimmed down to 156 pounds, which at 5′ 9″, placed me perfectly in the middle range according to a BMI chart.

Not only I had a lost and kept off nearly 20 pounds, but I also was finally free of my “medically incurable” dyshidrotic eczema and my constant sinus congestion.

I was convinced I would never forsake my vegan identity.

But after spending all of 2017 and 2018 trying to still fit into my size 31 pants, and eventually my size 32 pants, I realized that even with my routine of running on the weekends, my vegan diet wasn’t enough to combat the fact that since turning age 35, my metabolism had undeniably changed.

I was open-minded by the time I accidentally (?) met Mark Glesne at a Starbucks one Sunday morning after church in September 2018. With his experience as a personal trainer, he explained to me that my body had ultimately found a way to rewire itself so that despite consuming 0% cholesterol as part of my vegan diet, I had begun storing fat for lack of complete proteins that are found in meat, eggs, and cheese.

So since September, I have bid farewell to my vegan lifestyle and switched back to simply being kosher; which I have been since Thanksgiving 2008.

I have remained committed to abiding my Jewish kosher law for over a decade now; not eating pork or shellfish, or any other bottom feeder animals.

And even though tuna and tilapia are technically kosher, my eczema did briefly return when I ate those types of fish recently; as well as salmon that was farm-raised instead of wild caught. So I have to stick with fish that are cleaner; like cod, mahi mahi, and wild caught salmon.

As far as my sinus issues, they haven’t returned since I started eating cheese again. However, I refuse to drink cow’s milk, as I believe it was causing my severe sinus and allergy issues; not to mention, it contains a lot of unnecessary sugar.

To help counteract my metabolism noticeably slowing down since I turned 35 nearly 3 years ago, my great friend Mohamad Alaw (who took the photo of me above) helped me get started on a daily work-out regimen, which I have been faithfully doing, based on a website called Darebee.com.

I went from a consistent 176 pounds as a vegan, now to a new consistent 171 pounds by remaining kosher and working out daily; as well as mostly eliminating wheat flour, added sugar, and hydrogenated oils.

Granted, I’m still not comfortably fitting in my size 32 pants, but I believe I eventually will.

I definitely do not regret the 5 and a half years I spent as a vegan, and 7 as a vegetarian. Honestly, had I not begun gaining weight to the point I had a dad bod, I would have stayed a strict vegan the rest of my life.

(Click here to find the best deal on this funny dad bod t-shirt on Amazon.)

But the fact that being a vegan wasn’t enough to prevent a dad bod, I took it as a warning from my body that I needed to change what I was eating.

I still undeniably have a very strict diet, but there’s much more grace. I feel a little bit more human in social environments now.

It’s all about doing what works for me personally. Let vegans be vegans. Let bacon lovers be bacon lovers. Let them not be in a cultural war by demonizing each other like Democrats and Republicans.

Let emotional intelligence rule and let each person find their own way to happiness and health.

(Click here to find the best deal on this cute women’s t-shirt on Amazon.)

As for me, I’ll be a kosher guy who works out in his living room every day when he gets home from work- as he pursues a goal of fitting comfortably in size 32 pants again, and continuing to remain cured of dyshidrotic ezcema and constant sinus congestion.

The Benefits of Using Custom Running Shoe Orthotics 

Many runners will, through their lifetime, experience lower body issues. Only a small number of runners can perform perfect running patterns without custom orthotics as their feet are capable of properly absorbing shock. There is also overpronation which occurs when the arch flattens, which causes the foot to roll inwards. Underpronation, on the other hand, happens when your foot does not turn enough, or even at all. Both overpronation and underpronation can lead to your feet’s joints misaligning, leading to several issues like blisters, chronic pain, leg length discrepancies, and shin splints. Instead of enduring the pain while running and hoping that it does not get worse, why not try custom orthotics?  

Turn All Types of Running Shoes into Your Shoe  

Each custom orthotic is made by creating a plaster cast or 3D impression of each of your feet. As a result, the resulting orthotics fit your feet perfectly. While you could go ahead and buy the most expensive pair of running shoes in the world, you will still end up experiencing pain when running unless they’re crafted to fit for your feet only. Sneakers are generally designed to conform to everyone’s foot shape, and that is why they do not offer enough support. To find out more about getting custom orthotics designed for you visit the Orthotic Shop 

Support in All the Right Places 

 As custom orthotics are designed for your feet only, your feet get support where they need it. If you were to purchase over the counter orthotics, you’d get support every time your feet hit the ground but won’t be evenly distributed to the areas of your feet where it is needed.   

Long Lifespan 

The over the counter orthotics you buy at a pharmacy can’t withstand the wear and tear placed on them as you run for a long time. It is also worth noting that most of them aren’t designed to last more than a couple of months. Custom orthotics, on the other hand, can last anywhere from two to five years. And the exciting thing is that you can have your custom orthotics refurbished to extend lifespan.  

Helps You Recover from Injury Faster  

If you have sustained running-related injuries, orthotics customized for your feet can help you recover much faster and back to running in no time. Since they are created based on the shape and contours of your feet, their design helps distribute weight more evenly on impact. For instance, if you are recovering from a broken toe, your orthotics can be designed in a way that the broken/injured toe doesn’t have to bear any of your weight, making it possible to run without experiencing any pain.